Believe it or not, even though I’ve been a horror film fanatic for half of my life, I just never got around to watching many of the Stephen King adaptations that have been produced. Now, I’ve seen a few here and there, but nothing to boast about. Well, tonight I can cross one more off that list — 1989’s “Pet Sematary.”
At its core, “Pet Sematary” is a zombie film; a tale of deceased animals and humans being resurrected from the grave. It’s what envelopes that theme that makes King’s story and the movie stand out amongst its peers. While I feel “Pet Sematary” may have borrowed a few ideas from other stories — An American Werewolf in London’s resurrected Jack character and Elm Street-like nightmare sequences — it’s safe to say that it is still a very original idea. I can’t imagine the pain a parent would go through when losing a young child, but I can, however, imagine that if there were a cemetary/burial ground that could bring that child back from death, no parent would refuse the opportunity.
The acting in this movie wasn’t as good as I’d hope for, but it was enough to not hinder the film all that much. I feel that Fred Gwynne, as Jud, and of course, Miko Hughes as Gage, stole the show. The practical blood and gore effects we get to see in the film, although very little compared to most horror films, was done very well. I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone who hasn’t seen it just yet, but I do want to say that the end of this film is heartbreaking and still very effective 24 years after its original release.
Mary Lambert’s “Pet Sematary” gets an official rating of 3.5 cat’s eyes out of 5.